I joined Twitter around the same time I joined Facebook, but I never used it because, well, it didn't seem very useful to me. At the time, I suppose it wasn't. I only truly got interested in it in the last month, when John at This Young House posted this:
If you’ve noticed the “Tweet Nothings” widget on our sidebar, then you probably already know that we’re on Twitter. I’m the primary tweeter between the two of us, using it to share tidbits that aren’t quite full-post-worthy and keeping you updated when we’re on the move (like if we’ve just spotted a new deal while out shopping). We’d love to mutually follow more of you, so check us out here and click “follow” under our picture. No clue what Twitter is? Watch this to get you started.
I thought "Hey, that's not such a bad idea! I'll try that myself." I was intrigued by the concept of microblogging, and unlike Facebook, where I generally post drivel for all my friends to see, I planned to use Twitter in much the same way I use my blog. To pass on information.
But Twitter really exploded for me when I read about something called #queryfail in Media Bistro's Galley Cat blog. During #queryfail, agents and editors twittered their worst queries. As someone who is writing their first novel but who has no experience with the publishing industry, I was completely interested. I headed on over to Twitter and was "introduced" to a group of people who were entertaining, honest, knowledgeable, and best of all, willing to share information.
On any given day, I am treated to a selection of links as diverse as these:
Doris Lessing: On Why Autobiography is Inevitably Untrue via Stephka, who writes The Crooked House
50 Reasons No One Wants to Publish Your First Book, via DanielLiterary
Insane Hiking Trail via EGDeedy (RT Zeblue_Prime and Maczter)
Novel Approach: Undercover at Library via KevinRoose, an author whose book UNLIKELY DISCIPLE: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University comes out this month.
Q & A with Literary Agent Michelle Brower via mariaschneider
What's the Hook? The Art of the Pitch via joefinder, best selling author
I follow authors, literary agents, editors, book publicists–anyone who I think will post useful information for me to gobble up. Right now, I'm pretty much in listening mode, but as I learn and find things to share, I will be more of an active participant.
To use a Twitter-appropriate analogy, I am like a baby bird with my beak wide open, waiting for its mommy to come back to the nest to feed me. Feed me information!
Baby hummingbirds by T. Solis
Of course, I also follow crafty-types and DIYers because, ya know, that's in my blood. Truth be told, however, those folks don't tweet near as often as the literary-types, so most of what I get out of twitter is in that vein.
Here's another good post on why Twitter is useful.
I leave you with a few twit-bits from Top 10 Tips for Twitter…And Life, via Bookgal:
1. Fluff and filler are no longer an option. Nobody has time/interest in reading them. Get to the point.
2. Be real. 140 chars is cut to the bone – you can’t wear a fake character on top and still fit.
3. Pick what’s important. You could use twitter to talk about your day down to the bowel movements, but then you’d have nobody following you. People follow you on twitter because what’s important to you is a match with what’s important to them, so share it!